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Monday · November 24 2003

vanlier.jpgThe Chicago Bulls fired their head coach and former player, Bill Cartwright, today. The buzz about the Bulls this season was that they were ready to turn the corner on the rebuilding and get a spot in the playoffs. They are 4-10 with one win at home. I like Cartwright and don't blame him for the early season failure, but coaches take the fall when the team underperforms.

The Bulls main six in the first three championship seasons (91-93) were Jordan, Grant, Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, and Paxson. John Paxson is the Bulls' general manager and fired coach Cartwright today, B.J. Armstrong is Pax's assistant, Scottie Pippen is playing with the Bulls, Horace Grant is in Lala land with Shaq and Kobe, and MJ is unemployed. Is Paxson going to talk to Jordan and measure his interest in coaching? Will Michael seriously consider the opportunity? Would he be a coach with enough patience to teach Curry, Chandler, Crawford, et al what they need to succeed? Jordan as the next coach of the Bulls is the story everyone wants to talk about, but I don't want to see it happen.

I want Pax to talk to Bulls broadcaster Norm Van Lier. This young Bulls team needs at least two things. They need a coach who won't kiss their ass and they need to learn to play defense. Van Lier can handle both of those. He was one of the top defensive players of his era and he'll knock toughness into these kids. Van Lier has coaching experience in the CBA and college. He wants the job and nobody has more fire than "Stormin' Norman." I'd like to see Paxson leave the Jordan story to the sports radio heads and hire Van Lier for the sidelines. He would take his boot and put it right where these Bulls need it.

What you had to say:
November 25 2003

I heard this morning that Scott Skiles is the front runner for the open position. Skiles will bring the toughness the team needs and is probably a more balanced choice than someone like Van Lier. I love Norm, but the more I think about it, he's probably too unpredictable of a character to be an NBA coach.

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz